One of the people charged with terrorism had taken training that provided him with the knowledge to construct electronic and explosive devices, the RCMP said Thursday.

Police have seized “a vast quantity of terrorist literature and instructional material,” including schematics, videos, drawings and books — in addition to electrical components and circuit boards designed for the construction of remote-controlled improvised explosive devices, said RCMP Chief Supt. Serge Therriault at a media conference Thursday. He said the evidence shows the suspects “had the intent to construct an explosive device for terrorist purposes.”

“The threat of terrorism is very real and Canada is certainly not immune from potential attacks,” said Raymond Boisvert, assistant director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. “This country has been identified on several occasions as a legitimate target by various individuals who espouse an Islamist ideology.”

Although police said an attack was still months away, they moved in on the suspects when they did because they feared the suspects were about to provide financial support to counterparts in Afghanistan to buy weapons to be used against coalition forces and Canadian troops.